So, what do you do when you're a middle-aged (I guess I am) mother - not a housewife because I actually work full time though I do have the luxury of doing so from home - and you're having a quick mid afternoon G&T , I mean cup of tea? You leaf through the Ocado magazine that arrived with your milk-soaked shopping delivery and check out what all good middle-aged mothers should be doing which, apparently, is making New Year's resolutions. Personally I gave up on that when I was about 7 (must not pick my nose) because I have about as much hope of sticking to one as I have of getting the kids to bed without a fight or working in the wine trade and being tee-total.
The following ten (ten?? is one trial by torture not enough?) are what Ocado recommend which, to be honest, aren't that original and have no doubt been dreamed up by a panel of readers comprised of middle-aged mothers across the middle-class provinces of Britain (or at least the parts south of halfway that Ocado deliver to - who said the north south divide was extinct?) who were, at exactly the same time as me, pouring themselves their first G&T, sorry, cup of tea, of the day.
1.Drink more water
|Proof, if it were needed, that I am|
adhering to "Revolution No 1"
2. Get Fit
More people join gyms in January than at any other time of the year and 99% of those give up within about 3 nanoseconds of swiping their shiny new membership cards at the gate which is surely designed to keep you in rather than out. Gyms are a complete waste of time unless you want to go and ogle some muscle (Mmm). I've been a member of more gyms than Joan Collins has had husbands and it's never done me any good. My version of this resolution would have been to stay fit having already achieved the glowing halo of someone who can run 13 miles and still look like they don't need a pint of cider. Unfortunately I got complacent (lazy) and only went for my first run in two months on Friday. This was principally because when I stopped training I lost weight (so why get fit in the first place I ask myself) and then put it all back on in the space of 6 hours on Christmas Day. I'm going on my mission of mercy to South Africa next Friday and I'm aware that I may have to go to the beach (oh dear) so I may have to run a few miles before my plane takes off just to shift that extra sherry. Having been for the second run of the year today though I have decided to "improve" my fitness, not "get some fitness".
3. Get more sleep
|Everybody's favourite bedtime saying|
Actually, this is the one I do agree with. I am a knackered mother-of-three. I have a full time job. I occasionally go for a run. I make things. I read a lot. I go out and I sometimes work away. I have to deal with childrens' bedtime which is like a day spent in your worst work-meeting ever but worse and without a pay-rise. And then I go to bed at 11 which is stupid. I spend half my life wishing my children could get themselves to bed after me and then don't go to bed till 11. Luckily The Boy is a star and I am absolved from attending to most nighttime disturbances because a) I pretend to be asleep, b) I'm on the side of the bed furthest from the door and therefore from the crying and c) I can't see in the dark which is very dangerous for the children. Since the day my mum became ill I haven't slept. While she was ill I lay awake worrying about her and what would happen. Since she's died I lie awake being visited by images of her actually dying. They are horrific. I was there so I know. Perhaps I should cut down on the sherry. Let's face it, I am in bed for 8 hours before I have to get up which is time enough - perhaps my resolution is just to get better quality sleep. Actually, more sherry then I think.
4. Learn to relax
Crikey, this is going to be a long post. Sorry.
I see no point in relaxing. What's the point? It's time you'll never get back. Although the opportunity to read a book in one sitting would be nice but those things don't happen once you have children. If you know it's not going to happen don't worry about it. Live a little.
5. Go somewhere exciting
Interestingly, in the article, Ocado don't seem to recommend actually going somewhere. They seem to merely recommend sitting in your armchair with the latest issue of Conde Nast Traveller. The article must have been sponsored by Conde Nast. I reckon go somewhere different. In March I am going to Dusseldorf. It's work so I wouldn't say it's exciting but I've never been so I reckon that counts.
6. Spend time with my family
A couple of weeks ago I seem to recall my friend saying "you're the least likely mother". This is because I am constantly whingeing about my kids. I am sure having only one would be a piece of cake (though not my one) but, as any mother of multiples will know, more than one of the same age has the potential to put you in a psychiatric unit before you would normally think appropriate). For the record, I absolutely adore my children and I would do anything for them. But time on your own is equally important.Plus it's the only time The Boy and I aren't hurling knives at eachother. So here's a resolution - to have more time away from them. Nothing wrong either with going away on your own. The extra day I had in San Francisco on my way back from NZ last year did me the world of good. I maintain to this day that it has made me a better mother and can only have had long term benefits.
7. Eat Better
Interestingly, before I read this Ocado article (which basically advocates eating fruit and veg) I had been to Waitrose and bought a load of veg with which to make myself a super-healthy roast veg lunch. I did - it was delicious. But then I emailed The Boy and suggested jacket spuds for dinner and he ordered me to get my arse to the butchers to get a couple of big rib-eyes to have with a healthy portion of dauphinoise potatoes. I am salivating as I type. So, don't eat better in the sense of depriving yourself of anything that is remotely normal. Improve fitness and eat what the hell you like. Including the leftover childrens' tea, especially if it's chicken goujons or fish fingers.
8. Try something new
Ocado are talking specifically about recipes here. My mantra from the start of this blog was to do anything new, no matter how small. I know the things I do may seem pathetic and trifling to some of you daredevils out there but at least they're things I haven't done before which I reckon all counts.
9. Drink less booze
WHAT? I've just signed a decree that says I will drink more sherry. Ocado reckons we should try and aim low alcohol-wise. What is the point in that? Sorry Banrock Station 5.5% alcohol Shiraz Rose but I would rather dig a tunnel to Australia with my tongue than get you anywhere near it.
10. Be Greener
"Buy a compost bucket"it says. We have one. Unfortunately it's at the other end of the garden and I'm not which means when it's raining, windy, snowing, icy, drizzling, grey, I'm in the middle of a cup of tea (sorry, sherry), or a day in the week ending in a "y" then it doesn't happen. If I leave the scraps on the floor under the table, my gannet twins or new kitten might hoover them up instead. Which effectively is being green anyway. Alternatively I could buy myself a nice fitted green velvet jacket which I've always fancied. Or I could be bluer and get a navy one.
Whichever way, I can't win, as I expect you'll hold me to them......